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Legumes (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) are unique among cultivated plants for their ability to carry out endosymbiotic nitrogen fixation with rhizobial bacteria, a process that takes place in a specialized structure known as the nodule. Legumes belong to one of the two main groups of eurosids, the Fabidae, which includes most species capable of endosymbiotic(More)
BACKGROUND Plants from temperate regions are able to withstand freezing temperatures due to a process known as cold acclimation, which is a prior exposure to low, but non-freezing temperatures. During acclimation, a large number of genes are induced, bringing about biochemical changes in the plant, thought to be responsible for the subsequent increase in(More)
Rhizobium-root nodule symbiosis is generally considered to be unique for legumes. However, there is one exception, and that is Parasponia. In this nonlegume, the rhizobial nodule symbiosis evolved independently and is, as in legumes, induced by rhizobium Nod factors. We used Parasponia andersonii to identify genetic constraints underlying evolution of Nod(More)
With the considerable growth of available nucleotide sequence data over the last decade, integrated and flexible analytical tools have become a necessity. In particular, in the field of population genetics, there is a strong need for automated and reliable procedures to conduct repeatable and rapid polymorphism analyses, coalescent simulations, data(More)
Understanding the selective constraints of partner specificity in mutually beneficial symbiosis is a significant, yet largely unexplored, prospect of evolutionary biology. These selective constraints can be explored through the study of nucleotide polymorphism at loci controlling specificity. The membrane-anchored receptor NORK (nodulation receptor kinase)(More)
Climate changes will have an impact on food production and will require costly adaptive responses. Adapting to a changing environment will be particularly challenging in sub-Saharan Africa where climate change is expected to have a major impact. However, one important phenomenon that is often overlooked and is poorly documented is the ability of(More)
While genomic erosion is common among intracellular symbionts, patterns of genome evolution in heritable extracellular endosymbionts remain elusive. We study vertically transmitted extracellular endosymbionts (Verminephrobacter, Betaproteobacteria) that form a beneficial, species-specific, and evolutionarily old (60-130 Myr) association with earthworms. We(More)
BACKGROUND We studied patterns of molecular adaptation in the wild Mediterranean legume Medicago truncatula. We focused on two phenotypic traits that are not functionally linked: flowering time and perception of symbiotic microbes. Phenology is an important fitness component, especially for annual plants, and many instances of molecular adaptation have been(More)
The ability of plants to track seasonal changes is largely dependent on genes assigned to the photoperiod pathway, and variation in those genes is thereby important for adaptation to local day length conditions. Extensive physiological data in several temperate conifer species suggest that populations are adapted to local light conditions, but data on the(More)
BACKGROUND The NODULATION RECEPTOR KINASE (NORK) gene encodes a Leucine-Rich Repeat (LRR)-containing receptor-like protein and controls the infection by symbiotic rhizobia and endomycorrhizal fungi in Legumes. The occurrence of numerous amino acid changes driven by directional selection has been reported in this gene, using a limited number of messenger RNA(More)